Preparing for SQL Server 2012: What You Need to Know

Lara Rubbelke, Microsoft SQL Server Community Principal Program Manager, recently talked with PASS Marketing Vice President Rick Heiges about the changes in editions and licensing for SQL Server 2012.

Rick: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Lara. Let’s get right to it: What’s new in SQL Server 2012 as far as editions?
We’ve streamlined SQL Server 2012 editions to better align with how customers are deploying applications and solutions and are releasing SQL Server 2012 in three main editions:
•    Enterprise Edition – for mission-critical applications and large-scale data warehousing
•    Business Intelligence (BI) Edition  – a new edition that provides premium corporate and self-service BI
•    Standard Edition – for basic database, reporting, and analytics capabilities

Enterprise Edition will include all features available in SQL Server 2012, and the BI Edition will include premium BI features as well all of the Standard Edition features.

Rick: What about the other editions that currently available in SQL Server 2008 R2?
Good question Rick. With the release of SQL Server 2012, we will be retiring:
•    Datacenter – its features will now be available in Enterprise Edition
•    Workgroup – Standard will become our edition for basic database needs
•    Standard for Small Business – Standard becomes our sole edition for basic database needs

Your readers should also note that SQL Server 2012 will continue to be available in Developer, Express, and Compact editions without licensing or pricing changes. The Web edition will be offered only to hosters via a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA).

Rick: What are the key licensing changes with SQL Server 2012?
SQL Server 2012 will continue to offer two licensing options: one based on computing power, and one based on users or devices. In the computing power-based license model, however, the way we measure power will shift from processors to cores. Core-based licensing provides a more precise measure of computing power given high core-density server hardware. It also provides a more consistent licensing metric regardless of where the solution is deployed across on-premises to cloud.
Rick: When will these changes go into effect, and how can our readers learn more?
Licensing changes will go into effect with the general availability of SQL Server 2012, which is expected to be released in the first half of 2012. For more information about editions, licensing, and planning for SQL Server 2012, you can check out the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 website.

For customers who would like to understand how to transition to the new license model, Microsoft has a great resource here.